Jonathan Gilligan’s review published on Letterboxd:
Been quite a while since I logged and rewatched the other Scream movies but here we are: Scream 4. Sadly, this was Wes Craven's final movie as a director, but if this fantastic legacy sequel is the final movie from the late great legend, then what a way to go out.
Scream 4 has honestly aged way better than it had any right to. Back in 2011, Internet Culture and Vlog Culture was nowhere near to as huge and relevant as it was to where we are in 2022. And with the commentary of this movie also skewing remakes, it's aged like a fine wine. The glossy,"music video" look this movie has? They aware of it and even call it out in the movie. Honestly never really understood the criticism for the cinematography here.
I also dig the new cast of characters this time around. This is where I think the Scream franchise starts going for a clear ensemble cast rather than Neve Campbell and the cast around her. The "Movie Club" guys are fun in a dorky sense. Hayden Panettiere is the big standout of this new cast. Kirby as a character is just so damn feisty and likable, she is without a doubt the clear favorite of this (at the time) new crew. And plus there's a great scene where she gets quizzed on horror movies and the brief quick swift of emotions she pulls off is honestly quite impressive. And quite frankly, I'm so damn excited Hayden Panettiere is confirmed to come back in Scream 6 cuz as much as I fuck with this movie, I always thought they did Kirby dirty as a character. So I'm glad to hear she coming back.
Spoilers for an 11 Year Old movie inbound:
Emma Roberts low-key might have the most impressive role here. She pulls off the quiet, shy girl trope very well is damn convincing. But equally convincing is when it's revealed that she is one of the Ghostface Killers here. Sydney's own flesh and blood. Her own cousin. Her trauma began with her mother getting brutally killed and it just gets more heightened when her cousin is out there killing people. She wants to escape Woodsboro so damn much, but it always comes back to haunt it. Scream 4 has the fun, campy blend of horror and comedy that the first two (less so 3) had. But honestly, besides the opening to Scream 2, the reveal of Jill might be in contention for the darkest moment of the series. Jill don't care about her friends or family: She just wants fame and to be seen. And look at these toxic assholes who get famous on TikTok or even to be blunt, Logan Paul's used Q-Tip lookin ass. Behind the camp and scares, the dark subtext of this movie has honestly aged too damn well. Was 2011's Scream 4 ahead of the game of some things? I say yes.
The villains motive? Hunger for fame.
Also, honestly might have some of the best pacing of any of the Scream movies.
Social Media Culture and Remake Culture are prominent here. This is classic Scream in all it's glory. Blending the scares and humor (arguably the funniest of the series) with commentary about horror and it's place within media, I'll go as far to say that Scream 4 is honestly kind of brilliant.
Scream 4 rules and if you can't get with the picture, then you're Lemon Squares probably tastes like shit.
Also, of course Dewey's goofy ass has the Beverly Hills Cop theme as his damn ringtone. Man think he's the White Axel Foley 😂😂😂.
And one last thing: Anthony Anderson's character is named Anthony Perkins.
The more you know.
Fuck it, I stand by my rating.
Rating: 5/5 Stars.